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Construction Law/Claim for delays in material supply

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Question
We represent the Contractor and we have a disputed claim for delay in material supply from contractor side, Subcontractor submitted only some documents as evidence in which material delivery notes documented as support for its claim to accept the material delays from Contractor side.
I rejected the claim based on unsubstantiated proof since the claim is not supported on any base line programe of planning package such as Primavera -P3, etc. to show any delays on Project due to the material delays and also since some of the contractual clauses also I referred for rejecting the claim supporting to Contractor.
My question is that Can Contractor could refer two bases for rejecting the claim.
Second if suppose Subcontractor provided the sufficient substantiation for its claim even though the Contractual clauses will be based for rejecting the claim since the Subcontractor is threatening to approach to arbitration in case if we not accepting its claim.
And the last shall Contractor has to guide the Subcontractor to produce the right documents since he has asked frequently to guide what document is required to substantiate its claim, as we rejected its claim based on unsubstantiated proof of documents from Subcontractor side.

Please advise me.

Thanks and regards

Mujtaba

Answer
Hi Mohammed
It seems from the outset that it was the late contractor's material supply that caused a delay in the sub-contractors work.
This indicates that the sub-contractor has a very sound basis to prove his claim and that the contractor has caused an "act of prevention".
This puts the contractor in a very weak position.
However:
The basic legal principle is that "he who alleges must prove".
Secondly it is not for you to write your sub-contractor's claim.
Regarding using more than one layer of defence that is not a problem - in fact it is good practice.
It is not necessarily a requirement to use planning software to demonstrate any entitlement to an extension of time.
A common sense review will often work - particularly in an arbitration.
I am assuming that this is not a delay event that can be passed on to the Employer so you have to settle it at a domestic level.
So my advice at this stage is to inform your sub-contractor that he has not proven his case for an EoT and at the same time point out the contract clauses that prevent such a claim.
If the sub-contractor insists on taking his case to arbitration then it may be better to make an agreed settlement on purely commercial basis.
Finally please be aware that:
An act of prevention will sometimes over ride contract clauses.
and
Failure to award an EoT when it is due will cause time to be at large.
Best regards
Mike Testro

Construction Law

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Mike Testro

Expertise

Anything related to extensions of time and delay analysis.

Experience

45 years in the Construction Industry 15 Years as a consultant delay analyst - I now hold myself to be expert in this field.

Organizations
Society of Construction Law Adjudication Society ex Planning Engineers Organisation

Publications
6 articles on the relevance of the India Contract Act 1872 and its relevance to modern construction in India. Waiting Publication

Education/Credentials
Associate Member of the Institue of Building

Past/Present Clients
Currently employed in India by Punj Lloyd as expert delay analyst. Engaged in ongoing arbitrations and EoT claims. Prior an Indepenent consultant in delay analysis.

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